How a Pair of Special Socks Can Teach Kids Acceptance [Q&A]

Hannah Lavon talks to Goodnet about what it takes to ‘defeet’ the norm.

Mar 31, 2016


Pals Socks on Kids

Even unicorns and dragons can be friends!

We all want our children to grow up to be generous, empathetic, kind individuals. But, as any parent knows, teaching kids fundamental values requires creativity, enthusiasm, and a whole lot of patience. Toys, movies, books - and now, Pals Socks - are making great educational tools to get these points across.

Of all things, Pals Socks is using socks to help kids understand the importance of friendship, diversity, and acceptance. Started by college pals Hannah Lavon and Ashley Connors, Pals Socks purposely pairs mismatched socks to show that two things can still be different and be friends - like a caterpillar and a triceratops, or a panda and a koala.

For this week’s 10 Good Questions, Hannah spoke to Goodnet to explain how a funky pair of socks can promote harmony, embrace diversity, and teach kids acceptance.

1. What is your organization’s mission?

We want to help speak to kids in a positive, fun, way to let them know that it’s first of all,  cool to make different kinds of friends and, second of all, it’s important to keep an open mind in trying new things. We want to help make the world a better place by inspiring kids to be kind, tolerant, and empathetic.

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

We are a completely new and unique concept. We make purposely mismatched socks that come as unlikely friends (one pair is a Dragon and the other a Unicorn, for example). Our socks teach kids that you don’t need to wear matching socks -  it’s fun to be friends with someone different. Our tag is to “defeet” the norm. There is so much cool stuff in this world, and you will never experience it when you have all the same friends and do the same thing every day. We also give a percentage of our profits to charities that help further our cause, like PACER’s Anti-Bullying outreach.

3. What three words describe your organization?

Scrappy, idealistic, passionate.

Hannah Lavon and Ashley Connors, Founders of Pals Socks

Hannah Lavon and Ashley Connors started Pals Socks with the simple goal of producing products that make people happy 

4. What inspires you?

Great ideas, people taking a stand and making a positive change, innovative and kind people, and traveling.

5. Who's your favorite good doer figure?

There are so many inspiring good-doers! I will just leave it as anyone who has started a nonprofit or or company that is actually making a positive difference and not doing it for the money.

6. What is the best part about your job?

Seeing how happy kids and parents are with our socks. They love them. It feels so great to create a product that kids love so much and have such a great message. When parents tell me how much it helped with explaining to their kids or grandkids why they are mismatched and light bulbs going off - it’s really all about that. Social change, baby steps, colorful unique socks.

7. How do you measure success within your organization?

Staying in business, and having happy customers that keep coming back! We had no prior background in business or retail and very limited capital so the fact that we are able to stay afloat is just amazing and we are super thankful.

8. Facebook or Twitter?

Actually, Instagram!

Pals Socks

Pals Socks teach kids to embrace their differences 

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

That we created these socks with the belief that we all can create social change. We strongly believe in the power of the people, and that it’s important to have a mainstream item that has a purpose, not just design.

10. How can people get involved?

A few ways! You can sign up for our newsletter to hear about new events that we’ll be hosting to extend our  branch reach in New York.  We are also looking for great organizations we can partner with that identify  with our mission. If that sounds like you,  please reach out to us! Oh, and maybe try a pair of Pals Socks and help us ‘Defeet the Norm.’

Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.